Most Performed Australian Work nominations - 2008

 

Title Straight Lines
Artist Silverchair
Writer Daniel Johns*
Julian Hamilton^
Publishers Sony / ATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd*
EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd^

Silverchair are one of the most acclaimed and successful bands in Australian music history and have taken their art from the sunny seashores of Merewether to the biggest stages in the world. Their big break came in mid-1994 when they won a national demo competition conducted by SBS TV show "Nomad" and Triple J with their track "Tomorrow". The song eventually spent six weeks at #1 on the Australian singles charts and 20 weeks in the top 10.

Silverchair's debut album frogstomp, recorded in just nine days in early 1995, was a raw sounding slab of alternative rock. A #1 hit in Australia and New Zealand the disc went on to become the first Australian album since INXS to hit the U.S. top 10, selling more than 2.5 million copies throughout the world. From there, they launched into superstardom with follow up albums - the angry, rocking Freak Show, then chartered new sonic and emotion and emotional territory with Neon Ballroom, and after that again pushed their own boundaries with the melodic and lustrous Diorama which won them six ARIA Awards including "Best Group" and "Best Rock Album". 2007 saw the band reach a new pinnacle with the album Young Modern, which served up lashings of melodic invention and exuberance.

Amongst their many tours, "Across The Night" sold out around the country in minutes and was the largest of their career. The band also played multiple sold out shows in South America, the U.S, Canada and the U.K. The band has had four consecutive number 1 albums in Australia and received 39 ARIA Award nominations over the last 12 years and sold over 6 million albums around the world.

 

Songwriter, vocalist and keyboard player, Julian Hamilton is one half of a Sydney electronic duo, The Presets. He attended St Andrew's Cathedral School and completed the HSC before studying music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he met his Presets partner Kim Moyes. A talented songwriter and all rounder, Julian performed with The Dissociatives (2004) and Silverchair (2001 - 2003). He also worked with Australian group The Sleepy Jackson to record their 2006 album Personality - One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird he is credited for Orchestral Arrangements & Additional Production, he also played keyboard and synth on many of the songs. Julian also co-wrote on a number of recently released Australian tracks - The Hampdens single "Generation Y" (Warner Records), co-wrote The Evermore album track "My Guiding Light" (Warner Records, co-wrote the Michael Paynter song "Superhero" (Sony BMG). He also co-wrote songs with Daniel Johns for the 2007 Silverchair album Young Modern, including the smash hit single "Straight Lines". The Presents current album Apocalypso debuted at # 1 on the ARIA chart and has spawned the hit "My People"

Previous APRA Awards:
  • Songwriter of the Year - Daniel Johns (2003)
  • Most Performed Australian Work Overseas - Tomorrow - Daniel Johns, Benjamin Gillies (1996)
  • Songwriter of the Year - Daniel Johns and Benjamin Gillies (1995)

 

Title 20 Good Reasons
Artist Thirsty Merc
Writer Rai Thistlethwayte

Since first bursting onto the national scene back in 2003, the Sydney-based Thirsty Merc quickly built up a reputation as one of the country's best live acts. Word-of-mouth and hundreds of shows around Australia - and, of course, a swag great songs - saw the first Thirsty Merc CD spend over a year on the ARIA album charts and end up selling over 120,000 copies. The album produced a string of memorable singles: "Emancipate Myself", "My Completeness", "Someday, Someday", "In the Summertime", "When the Weather Is Fine".

Almost three years on from the release of Thirsty Merc's much-loved, self-titled debut, now comes the highly anticipated new album - Slideshows. The album is a glistening collection of 12 new melodic, rocking tracks from one of Australia's most popular and hard-working bands. The first single is "20 Good Reasons", a gloriously anthemic number with a huge sing-a-long chorus, sure to prove itself another instant Thirsty Merc radio favourite.

Upfront, the charismatic, curly-haired Rai is a gifted and multi-faceted guitarist and pianist, as well as an almighty vocalist. Meanwhile, bass player Phil Stack can be found in his spare time playing his upright in the backing band for Australia's biggest jazz star, trumpeter James Morrison. In Thirsty Merc, Phil hooks in with drummer Karl Robertson - they've played in bands together since they were little kids, so as a rhythm section, they just couldn't be any tighter. Lead guitarist Sean Carey was the last to join the Thirsty Merc fray, just before the release of the first album, so you know he was handpicked from all the guitarists in Earth to be the perfect Merc guitarist.

While some of the new songs call on the band not to rock out, there are many moments on Slideshows where Thirsty Merc rock harder than they've ever rocked before, such as on the opener "She's All I Got", or the riff-heavy "The Vision" and the glam-infused "She's My Brother".

But these thumping, grinding moments are well-and-truly balanced out by the more delicate and aching tracks such as "The Whole World Reminds Me of You", the painfully heartfelt "Crying in Denial" and the piano-and-strings driven album closer, "Homesick".

Once the recording was all done, Rai took the tapes to Los Angeles where the songs were given an extra sheen by internationally renowned mix engineer, Mark Needham [The Killers, My Chemical Romance]. The end result is an incredibly rich-sounding, diverse yet cohesive work. The perfect example of how bright Slideshows sounds can be found in its first single, "20 Good Reasons".

 

Title Lost and Running
Artist Powderfinger
Writers Jonathan Coghill
John Collins
Bernard Fanning
Ian Haug
Darren Middleton
Publisher Universal Music Publishing MGB Australia Pty Ltd

Single of the week: The much-awaited new single from the beloved Brisbane quintet sounds like they have taken a vial of sonic essence from their favourite artists and skillfully distilled the parts into a Powderfinger whole. There's the swagger of The Stones' guitars, the acoustic foundation of Neil Young and Bowie's chameleon vocals. It's an instant singalong anthem, which should prove a crowd favourite when the lads hit the road to launch their new album.(Kathy McCabe, Sydney Daily Telegraph)

This album (Dreamdays at the Hotel Existence) is in no way supposed to present itself as a rehash of any period from the past. Nor is it designed to recast Powderfinger in some stunning new vein. It is simply an extension of our past efforts to write good songs in an original way, and an attempt to communicate ideas to people that actually make them 'feel' something. Music that 'means' something to the people that hear it. Music that has an enduring quality. It is not an altogether common experience in this day and age. But of course it is there if you know where to look. It certainly sounds different to our past efforts, or so everybody keeps telling us anyway.

Most of the dry, punchier rock songs that were featured on Vulture Street have given way to ones that are more atmospheric and less frenetic. It was a conscious move. There are songs about love, hope, disappointment, frustration, elation, romance, guilt, shame, apathy and redemption. Maybe this time with more of an emphasis on hope than ever before.

It's difficult to assess, from inside a band, exactly where it is headed. For us, this isn't a great concern. It is better left to the pundits and the public to determine that. Now, what is ahead for us is to get out on the road and play these songs with purpose and a sense of fun that will rub off on the people who come to see us.

Previous APRA Awards:
  • Songwriter of the Year - Powderfinger (2004)
  • Song of the Year - My Happiness - Powderfinger (2001)
Also:
  • Songwriter of the Year - Bernard Fanning (2006)
  • Most Performed Blues & Roots Work - Songbird - Bernard Fanning (2007)

Title Light Surrounding You
Artist Evermore
Writers Dann Hume
Jon Hume
Publisher Rough Cut Music Pty Ltd

The three Hume brothers of Evermore have come a long way since the release of their debut album Dreams. With over 300 live shows, an MTV Award, a NZ Music Award, the APRA Silver Scroll, five ARIA nominations, and hung a platinum record plaque on the wall of their home studio, it's a far cry from their humble and rain-drenched beginnings in rural New Zealand.

After stowing away as youths and imbibing the classic songs in their parents' record collection, the brothers formed a band and took the winner's cake a local NZ Rock Quest competition. From there Evermore set about to record their first single "Slipping Away" followed by two EPs Oil and Water and My Own Way.

With airplay from Triple J coming in thick and fast, and some choice tour supports, the band was signed to Warner Music and recorded and released their debut album Dreams (2004). The album spawned the massively successful singles "For One Day", "It's Too Late" (for which they received the APRA Silver Scroll Award) and "Come To Nothing" and received five ARIA nominations.

After a heavy schedule of touring to support Dreams the band stepped back from the limelight for some R&R and then took to the country-side of the Central Coast of NSW and the USA to record their sophomore album Real Life (July 2006). This album showcased the band's growing songwriting ability; from the epic energy of "Running", the band's first single off the album, to the melodic harmonies of "Never Let You Go"; from the dynamic rock of "Unbreakable" to the uplifting lyrics of "Light Surrounding You" - a track which became their first number one single, this Real Life has seen a new journey just begun for this talented trio.

In 2007, Evermore were voted Channel [V] Oz artist of the year.

Title New York
Artist Eskimo Joe
Writers Stuart Macleod
Joel Quartermain
Kav Temperley
Publisher Mushroom Music Pty Ltd

Another thoroughbred from the West Australian music stables, Eskimo Joe formed in 1997 in Fremantle, Western Australia. One of the first gigs they ever played together was the first heat of the National Campus Band competition, which they eventually went on to conquer, leading to a spot on Livid and a studio recording session.

Their recording career began in 1998 with the renowned Sweater EP which shot them into the national spotlight via airplay on Triple J. Followed by 2 more EPs, Modular signed the band in 1999 and they created the Girl LP which featured their famous tracks "Planet Earth" and "Who Sold Her Out" and broke the band into the Top 40 and achieved Gold sales status for the album. Their sophomore album A Song Is a City (2004) proved the band had truly arrived and was a force to be reckoned with. It featured their top 40 debut single "From the Sea" as well as the top 50 hit, "Older Than You" and further singles "Smoke" and "Life is Better with You". A Song Is a City reached number 2 on the ARIA Album Charts and achieved double platinum sales.

Eskimo Joe's highly anticipated third album hit the shelves in June 2006, with the title track single "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" peaking at number 6 on the ARIA charts, giving them their first top ten single. The album then debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Album Chart followed by the second single "Sarah" which hit number 12. The album achieved 4 x platinum sales and won the band 4 ARIA Awards including Best Producer, Best Engineer (Matt Lovell), Best Music DVD and Single of The Year ("Black Fingernails, Red Wine").

The band has toured extensively both inside and outside Australia with performances on the Big Day Out tour in 2007, the CMJ Music Festival in NYC, Live Earth, as well as showcase events in the USA. They also performed at the 2008 East and West Coast Blues and Roots Festivals (Byron Bay and Fremantle, respectively).

The band is currently hard at work recording their fourth studio album due for release sometime in 2008.